adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

  • Micro book review: Remote - Office not required
    Posted by Oliver on the 5th of April, 2020 in category Thoughts
    Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson It's probably no surprise to anybody that I just read this book, and I expect many other people have recently, or will soon, read it as well given the current global pandemic looming over us. Many people will have recently bought the book as the authors made it free (I think the tweet has now been deleted as I couldn't find it) but in any case…
  • Micro book review: Reinventing Organizations
    Posted by Oliver on the 2nd of April, 2020 in category Thoughts
    Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux . Wow, what a book. I've had this sitting on the bookshelf for a couple of years and finally got around to reading it in the last couple of months. When it comes to books around the theme of management, the most interesting books are the ones that completely challenge and change my existing ways of thinking, or the ones that fully resonate and amplify…
  • Micro book review: Who Moved My Cheese?
    Posted by Oliver on the 15th of March, 2020 in category Thoughts
    Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson is another book mentioned to me last year (I think by my manager). It sounds like a book I already knew about, but maybe that is because of the conventional and obvious sounding title. And the content is obvious, in many ways - it's an allegory for change management. As the tale goes, four mice with strange names are feasting on cheese and then the…
  • Micro book review: One Minute Mentoring
    Posted by Oliver on the 15th of March, 2020 in category Thoughts
    One Minute Mentoring by Ken Blanchard and Claire Diaz-Ortiz is one of the well-respected One Minute Manager series by Ken Blanchard. Ken Blanchard himself has started a series of companies that specialise in management training and techniques - such as Situational Leadership II. I still have it on my list to read the original One Minute Manager, and assumed it was just a "basics" guide to the…
  • Micro book review: Turn The Ship Around
    Posted by Oliver on the 15th of March, 2020 in category Thoughts
    Turn The Ship Around by L. David Marquet is something that had been on my radar (no pun intended) for some time, but was also recommended to me early last year by my then manager. The context was - how to delegate more in the journey in leadership to higher levels of management. I think at the time I was trying to come to grips with the team I had at the time, which was doing a lot of difficult…
  • Micro book review: Zero to One
    Posted by Oliver on the 5th of February, 2020 in category Thoughts
    Another book completed from the never-ending list: Zero to One by Peter Thiel . Not sure how this ended up on the list but I guess it's a seminal text when considering tech startups, which have featured pretty solidly in my career. I probably saw it on the shelf at one of the companies I worked, and thought it deserved a read. In any case, I expected something more about founding and running…
  • Micro book review: Radical Candor
    Posted by Oliver on the 14th of January, 2020 in category Thoughts
    My blog count for last year was woefully low, and I was struggling to think of what was worthwhile to write about. As I mentioned last time, I've been slowly getting through my management/leadership reading list and while I don't think I have the time or energy to write full book reviews (at least, full enough to do the titles justice) I would like to write something . So here it is: the first of…
  • Another great read - Tribes by Seth Godin (and other books)
    Posted by Oliver on the 5th of December, 2019 in category Thoughts
    Oh dear, it's been another long time since my last post. To be fair, this year has been very hectic. Earlier in the year I was focussing a lot more on spending my commutes meditating (somewhat successfully), but recently I've found that reading on the train and in whatever free time I can scrape together has almost the same effect - so I don't mind meditating less. When I was in primary school I…
  • Recent Reads
    Posted by Oliver on the 10th of June, 2019 in category Thoughts
    Well, I've certainly had a lot less free time to write blog posts recently. I don't even have my actual desktop computer back in operation yet (the screen was cracked in transit). We have finally moved into an apartment in Sydney and life is returning to some definition of normal. With three kids and a new job there is a lot to balance, and not a lot of time for many things. That being said, I've…
  • New Year, New You!
    Posted by Oliver on the 20th of January, 2019 in category Thoughts
    It's 2019! Or so they say - I'm not very inclined to believe it, as most days seem like a dream. You know that kind of dream, where you are in the house where you live (or perhaps where you grew up), but you somehow know within you that it's not your house ? This is the life I'm living at the moment. We've been living in Berlin, Germany, since 2009 and have now - after just over nine years…
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